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Mar 29, 2006 02:52 PM

Layover at the Seattle Airport

  • c

I have about a 4.5 hour layover at the Seattle airport. Would it be feasible to leave and find some good eats nearby?

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  1. Well, depends on what time you arrive. If it's anywhere near morning or evening rush hour (6:30-9:30 am) or (3:00 - 6:30 pm) don't leave the airport. It's not located super close to downtown and it'll also cost you about $20 minimum one-way for a non-stop cab ride. I have no idea what the heck is even located in Sea-Tac the city. Some of the restaurants in the airport have improved lately...I remember good drinks one time in the Safari themed restaurant...

    1. It all depends on how mobile you are. Food at the airport is terrible. There are good to very good options on International Blvd (Highway 99) which runs past the airport going north-south. A few blocks north on 99 is a Thai place that some hounds have signed off on, but I haven't been there. Much Thai and Korean can be found heading south. Several miles south is Indochine, once a hound favorite but now back in the pack. (Even though it is on 99 it would be faster to take I-5 to get there.) Also by car the "Chinese Mall" in Kent near IKEA is a possibility. But if you have a layover, my guess is that you are stuck in the airport and hostage to their miserable fare. Best of a bad bargain would be either the udon noodles at the udon stand or the fast-food steam table chinese in the main terminal. Avoid at all costs Ivar's chowder, except for industrial uses.

      Personally, I would reroute through Logan in Boston and spend my time at Legal Seafoods.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Peter

        Bai Tong 15859 International Blvd, Seatac Airport 206-431-0893 ...

        Is probably a mile North of the airport, so a cab shouldn't be too bad...

        1. re: mr.nelso

          The first time I ate at Bai Tong, soon after it opened publicly, it was great. The last time I ate there, admittedly a couple of years ago, it was OK but nothing special.

          So, those of you recommending Bai Tong, have you been there lately, or is this just old reputation?

          1. re: Randy Brook

            In truth, my comments were based on my own 15-year-old experience. At that time, I found it quite good. Now that you ask, though, this may have related to the fact that they were early on a Thai-food scene that has grown immensely since, and may have grown my (our?) tastes along with it. It may be that they have slipped. Thank you for your question, Randy.

            1. re: mr.nelso

              NOTE: The Bai Tong on International Blvd is *closed* and has moved to 16876 Southcenter Pkwy Tukwila, WA 98188 . It's still pretty close to the airport, but don't go looking for the old location.

              ps. The food is good!

              Edited to add: I'm sorry; I just realized this part of the thread is old. Oops.

              1. re: seattledebs

                Went to Bai Tong after an airport run last night. First visit since a trip to the old location many years ago. I found the food very good, clearly a cut above the average. Sticking to items not usually found at the generic thai spots, we started with the gai hor bai toey, chicken marinated in ginger or galangal, wrapped in a leaf and quickly fried, so it retained a pink tenderness inside. We also had the Kang Pa, a thin beef curry made with southern-style orange paste and bamboo shoots, green beans, galangal and basil (I've had an wildly hot version of this paste at Sea Thai). Probably my favorite was the homok salmon, chunks of fish mixed with herbs, steamed inside a banana leaf cup atop basil and thinly sliced cabbage, topped with rich coconut cream-delicious.

      2. I don't think there is anything in the immediate area worth the cab ride, and Seattle is too far on a 4.5 hour layover. The food at Seatac has vastly improved in the last year, however.


        1. Thanks everyone for the suggestions. Looks like I'll be roughing it at the airport! :)

          1. Bai Tong 15859 International Blvd

            It's close to the airport and DEFINITELY better than the food options at Seatac. I've been told that Bai Tong was initially started for Thai Airlines (whose employees were sick of eating crummy american food). Initially, chefs were flown in from Thailand and it was an employees only affair. However, this restaurant has been open to the public for years, and it is great. Dishes are cooked in a traditional Thai style, the menu selection is extensive and excellent.